Put the Most Popular Option First

Sometimes you just have to laugh at the Auto-Attendant and On-Hold messages at some companies. I mean, who are they kidding? Is your call really “very important to us”?


The Caller

By Frank Halliwell

“Good morning! Thanks for calling us!

We’re pleased to hear from you!

Your call’s important to us

So we’ve placed you in a queue.

Please find your account number and

Be sure it is correct.

It’s twenty digits long and if you

Mis-type, I’ll reject.

I’ll lead you through the whole routine

Please use your touch type phone.

Press eight and follow with the hash

After you hear the tone.

If you are a new client here.

Press two, if old, press three.

Press four in case we’ve done something

With which you disagree!

You have pressed four, please wait a moment

While I transfer you.

And please enjoy, while we play you

A symphony or two!

Our staff are all too busy now

To talk to such as you.

Your call is so important that

We’ve placed you in a queue.”

Time passes and the music lingers

On, and bye and bye.

My cheek and ear go fast asleep,

My wrist gets R.S.I.

But wait! It may be there is hope!

I hear a ringing sound,

At last a human voice is heard

After the runaround!

“Good morning, this is Ladies wear

And may we help somehow?

Complaints?. Oh! Just hang on a tick

I’ll transfer you right now!…”

“Good morning! Thanks for calling us!

We’re pleased to hear from you!

Your call’s important to us

So we’ve placed you in a queue.

Recently I was researching the features of a customer’s phone system at the manufacturer’s website, and the manufacturer had this to say about its On-Hold message:


The InterStellar Phone System gives you the opportunity to have music playing while a caller is on hold. Best of all you can insert interruptions during each recording in order to play a message.


You’ve experienced this kind of On-Hold situation whether or not you remember it. You’re On-Hold, listening to the music or messaging, when all the sudden “click.” The music is interrupted, and hope springs up within you that your call is going to be answered. Only to have your hopes dashed by the message, “Your call is important to us; please continue to hold.”

Can you say, “Disappointment”?

I was On-Hold with a company last week that interrupted its On-Hold music with this reminder that I was On-Hold every ten seconds! Never do this to your callers.

Just because you use an Auto-Attendant doesn’t mean it has to be a poor caller experience.

Want to know what your caller’s experience is like? Try a Caller Experience Evaluation service. It’s like climbing inside your customer’s head and hearing your business from his perspective. Very informative!

A recent client who used this service, gave this feedback: “Thanks for getting the report to me as fast as you did. I will be correcting a lot of the concerns you pointed out. Thanks again!”

Don’t give your callers the run-around.

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